After months of speculation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, the Minister of Transportation, has joined the fray to slug it out with other presidential aspirants in the All Progressives Congress (APC) primaries for the 2023 polls.
With his declaration, Amaechi is expected to vie for the APC presidential ticket alongside former Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Ebonyi Gov. Dave Umahi, his Kogi counterpart, Yahaya Bello, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo and the only female, Ibinabo Joy Dokubo.
Others are Sen. Orji Uzor Kalu and Sen. Rochas Okorocha (both from Southeast).
Addressing thousands of party supporters and leaders in Port Harcourt on Saturday at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium, Amaechi said: “Fellow Nigerians, I stand before you today to declare my intention and submit my application to serve as your next president.”
Persecondnews.com reports that personalities at the historic declaration include Plateau Gov. and Chairman of Northern Governors Forum, Simon Lalong, former APC National Chairman and ex-Edo Gov. Adams Oshiomhole and the Minister of State for Transportation, Gbemisola Saraki.
Others are some former governors and APC lawmakers.
Amaechi, who titled his declaration speech as “Forward With Courage”, also told the cheering crowd: “I did not come to this decision lightly, I have served our nation for the last seven years as minister of transportation.
“Eight years before that, I served as governor of Rivers State; in the preceding eight years before that, I was Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly.
“Within this period, I have also served as the Director-General of President (Muhammadu) Buhari’s campaign organisation twice.
“After more than two decades in the public arena, I had wanted to go on a holiday and spend more time with my family before charting a new course outside politics.
“But at 56, I am compelled by the urgency of our present challenges to place my experience and proven capacity at the service of the nation at the highest level.”
It is not immediately clear if Amaechi, the erstwhile Rivers Governor had resigned in accordance with the Electoral Act.